Category Archives: Holidays

Giving Thanks.

thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

This being Thanksgiving week, we are thinking about thanks in the theatre world.

We always felt that the theatre would suffer—and perhaps come to an end—because it is not a mass-production enterprise.  Therefore, it cannot equal automobiles, electric lights, and all sorts of items in our daily lives that are mass-produced by machines.

We have previously told you that in 1943, when we brought Oklahoma! to Broadway, Orchestra tickets were $5.75 each, the equivalent to $81.53 today.  Since currently  Broadway musical tickets are averaging $125.00, it is clear that ticket prices have gone up faster than inflation—although only somewhat faster!

The good news is that all 40 Broadway theatres currently have plays running or will be opening new plays this Spring.  This make us very happy because the fact that plays are not mass-produced has not yet ended the theatre!

We are happy and giving thanks this week to all of those who work hard to make the theatre the success that it continues to be!

Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip and Marilyn

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Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

Dear Friends,

As we countdown the days until Christmas (5 more!), we thought we take some time to share with you some random facts about Christmas.  Today’s facts are brought to you by the History Channel:

For example, did you know that the first recorded mention of Christmas was in 336AD?  Prior to that the Epiphany (the celebration of the arrival of the Magi) on January 6th and Easter (the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus) were the focus of Christian celebrations.

In fact, church officials were the ones who selected the date of December 25th to coincide with the existing pagan holidays celebrating Saturn, the Roman God of Agriculture, and Mithra, the Persian God of Light.  Church officials thought it would be “easier to convince Rome’s pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion.”

As time went on, the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus spread through most of the Western world, except in part of colonial Puritan New England, where its observance was banned “because they viewed its traditions—the offering of gifts and decorating trees, for example—as linked to paganism. In the early days of the United States, celebrating Christmas was considered a British custom and fell out of style following the American Revolution.”  In fact, at one point anyone in Massachusetts caught celebrating Christmas was fined 5 Shillings! Christmas in America did not became a federal holiday until 1870.

Below is a video from the History Channel, if you’d like to learn more.

Stay well—and live a good life!

Merry Christmas!

Philip & Marilyn Langner

https://www.history.com/embed/10639427779

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Good For Your Heart.

Dear Friends,

Today we wanted to switch gears and talk about something completely different:  heart disease, humankind’s most frequent killer.  I know you’re probably thinking “that has nothing to do with the theatre,” however, as the leading cause of death—not only in the United States, but globally as well—we feel it is an important topic for everyone.

It’s all about an article in the New York Times (click here for full article), which says that new studies coming out are showing that even small positive life style changes can have a positive effect on lowering one’s risk of developing heart disease, even if you have a genetic predisposition to it.

We, perhaps like you, always thought that if you wanted to dramatically reduce your chances of having a heart attached you had to have the right genetics and eat perfectly and exercise an hour every day and never smoke.  And while doing all these things could dramatically reduce your chances of developing heart disease, this NY Times article explains that even doing one of these things will drop your risk significantly.

Great news, especially as we’re heading into a season of indulgence.  Now we know that with a little bit of effort we can all work toward reducing our chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

Stay well—and live a good life!

PL and MC

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Sunrise at Campobello

Dear Friends,

Since we’ve been celebrating American history all week, we thought we’d share this post with you again, as it is where history and theatre intersect!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Certainly one of the most exciting plays we ever produced was Sunrise at Campobello, the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the early 1920s.

We were extremely happy when Dore Schary, a prominent head of MGM, decided to leave Hollywood to concentrate on writing and producing plays in New York!

campo 2

His first play, Sunrise, was excellent!  We opened the play on what would have been Roosevelt’s 76th birthday—January 30, 1958.  It was directed by Vincent J. Donehue and starred Ralph Bellamy as Roosevelt, along with Mary Fickett, Henry Jones, Anne Seymour, Mary Welch, Alan Bunce and more!

The play ran for 16 months with 556 spectacular performances.  It was nominated for 6 Tonys in 1958 and won Best Play, Best Actor, Best Director…

  • Best Play (winner)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play—Ralph Bellamy (winner)
  • Direction—Vincent J. Donehue (winner)
  • Featured Actor in a Play—Henry Jones (winner)
  • Featured Actress in…

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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate the birth of America, we’d like to share with you our post from last year…

Happy July 4th!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Happy 4th of July!

On this date 239 years ago, 13 British colonies decided to declare their independence from England by adopting The Declaration of Independence and forming the sovereign state of The United States of America.

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There was such passion and poetry in this historical document that we believe it is really worth taking a few minutes to read it (photo above and transcript below courtesy of The National Archives). By the way, the 13 colonies were having all sorts of arguments about it (just like we’re arguing today). While the arguments may have changed, they are no more or less important in that they (opinions of everyone) are what have formed this amazing country we call home.
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IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to…

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Ed Asner & Ron Nash in the FDR Presidential Car

Dear Friends,

As we head into the holiday weekend, we wanted to share this great photo with you!

Happy July 4th!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Ed & Ron

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Remembrances

Dear Friends,

We’d like to wish you a Happy Memorial Day!

memorial day

picture from HomeTownDailyNews.com

Having served during WWII, this day is poignant.  Marilyn and I are very thankful for all the soldiers who have served and fought to protect our freedoms.  While we haven’t always agreed with the politics of war, we have always supported our troops.  Today, we remember them.

Best regards,

Philip (US Navy)

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Dear Friends,

We just wanted to take a quick moment to wish all of our dear Theatre Guild members who are mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

We thank you for being with us!

We also wanted to share with you a darling picture of our beloved Dorothy Parker, who really embodies the spirit of what we like to call “Home Office”!

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Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Happy Easter!

Dear Friends,

We just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a very Happy Easter!

Best regards,

Philip and Marilyn Langner

and Dorothy Parker, our darling kitty cat watching over us as we work!

dorothy parker with flowers

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Happy Holidays!

Dear Friends,

We wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a very Happy Holidays!

We found this amazing video on YouTube and feel that if a cat and a rat can make it work, we may yet find peace on earth!

Best wishes and Merry Christmas!

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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